2017-18 Stats: 41G, 33A, 74P (Portland Winterhawks, WHL)
Cap Hit: $894,166 | 2 Years
It would be a surprise if Kieffer Bellows doesn’t make the Islanders roster in 2018-19. After an outstanding year with the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL, he’s poised to make good on his plan to play in the NHL by 2018.
The promise he brings to the roster immediately vaults him over a veteran like Andrew Ladd to sit number three on the Isles LW depth chart.
Inserting him on the third line should, in theory, give the Islanders some depth scoring that they were desperately looking for in 2017-18. Of course, again, this is all in theory.
Kieffer Bellows’ potential production is all projection. We’re all looking at his stats in junior, for the USDP, and for Boston College and think this kid has what it takes. But we’ve never actually seen him play in the NHL. We’ve never seen him play against men.
For his age group, Bellows is a great player. But what happens when he plays against players older than he is and with the cunning and experience that that age gap brings? Can he be as effective?
And that’s if Bellows makes the NHL. Again, it would be a surprise if he didn’t make the team. Until you look at the roster and try to think where he’s going to fit in.
Anders Lee and Anthony Beauvillier are locks for two of the four positions. That still leaves Andrew Ladd, Matt Martin, Leo Komarov, and Ross Johnston as lefties. That’s five guys for two spots (including Bellows). Even if one of them moves to the off wing, it still leave a two-to-one ratio.